If you follow me on Twitter you’ll have seen me tweet about mini Christmas stockings. I’ve been thinking of making these for a while but as I’m not used to knitting socks and am quite the perfectionist, it took many many many attempts before I came up with a pattern that I was happy with. And when I did, I knit. A lot.
I think I’m a convert to socks – miniature ones, anyway. I can certainly see the appeal of knitting socks, but trying to make a full-sized matching pair that will properly fit actual adult human feet is still well beyond me. No, I’m happy to stick with the miniature. They’re FAR more adorbs, anyway (I won’t admit to how long I spent squeezing stacks of these stockings, squealing at how utterly cute they are, but it was a loooong time).
These, as well as a selection of mittens, scarves and fingerless gloves are now available in my Etsy shop 🙂
I’m not a shawl person. Shawls strike me as being rather lady-like, and a lady I ain’t. But I couldn’t resist knitting another Ishbel, taking into account changes I wanted to make to previous projects (mainly, using a softer yarn and making the larger version). I much prefer to wear scarves wrapped round my neck rather than dangling loosely, and I’m no different with shawls, so the bigger version is much more practical.
The biggest challenge with this, unusually, was the cast off. I did so as the pattern suggests, using a p2tog cast off, and started pinning it out to block it. And then it literally started unravelling. I have no idea how or why, but the whole cast off edge just came undone, starting in the middle. Fortunately I managed to salvage the live stitches and cast off again with no problem, but I’ve never had an issue like that before. I can only imagine that I maybe missed a stitch, but I’m not even sure how that happens with a simple cast off like this! How peculiar…!
And finally, I’ve added the second lot of lace scarves to my Etsy shop, and am currently working on some C******** (I still can’t say the word, it’s only September) items 🙂
Well life’s gone and done that thing again where it all goes a bit tits up. My response to this has been to knit. A lot.
My favourite online yarn shop shut down recently (just to clarify, this isn’t what’s gone tits up, but life sure does like to pile it on, right?) and so they had a big clearance sale. And I can’t resist a good yarn bargain.
The Cascade 220 was always destined to become winter mittens and hats, but the Malabrigo and Manos del Uruguay at the back were more of a chance; I didn’t really have a plan for these, other than “really effing lovely stuff”.
The lovely violet Malabrigo has become 95% of an Ishbel – I say 95% because I started it in June, knit my fingers off, and then floundered at the very last repeat. Naughty Smurf.
The Manos lace has become summer scarves. Yeah.
Now I know the idea of wearing a scarf in August probably sounds ridiculous, but I’m British, and sry2say, August does not preclude the need for knitwear. A case in point:
This picture was taken on the FOURTEENTH OF AUGUST. A good 2-3 inches of hail fell (or rather threw itself violently out of the sky) in about half an hour, the fog afterwards was ridiculous and I could see my breath in the air. It was DEFINITELY the wrong day to sit outside for lunch.
I absolutely love the concept of Manos del Uruguay yarns; they are kettle-dyed by craftswomen in rural areas of Uruguay, working as part of cooperatives to provide economic, social and cultural opportunities for themselves and others. Plus, Manos is certified by the World Fair Trade Organisation, and that can only ever be a good thing. And I haven’t even mentioned that the lace yarn is baby alpaca, silk AND cashmere, and is ergo amazing.
I thought I’d let the yarn speak for itself and stick to a simple pattern, and so I had my first go at knitting on the bias. I think it really shows off the natural colour variations, what do you think?
You can find these scarves, plus more to follow shortly, in my Etsy shop
After the RESOUNDING success of the football scarf I knitted last autumn, the recipient promptly declared that it was the best thing since sliced bread, and that he simply HAD to have another one, in his team’s away colours. Of course.
But that wasn’t the whole story. Oh no.
The thing is, this was a Christmas gift. And I messed up.
I started it in early December, feeling very organised (seriously), and I knitted about three quarters of it, before I realised I had knitted the stripes too long and wouldn’t have enough yarn to complete the stripe pattern. So came December 23rd, when I ripped the whole thing out and started again. And then followed 35640 stitches in 49 hours.* But damn it, it was ready for Christmas morning and that’s what mattered. Never mind the fact my hands were misshapen claws and everything looked green by the time I finished, it was met with rapturous delight and both scarves have been in heavy rotation ever since.
Another Christmas knit was a scarf for my nephew – much less hassle!
I knit the majority of this on a return Eurostar journey to Brussels – it was so nice to knit. Whilst the football scarf wasn’t a difficult pattern, I certainly made it complicated for myself, so this Brioche pattern (on a rather smaller scale!) was a breeze. Credit goes to the wonderfully clear directions at The Purl Bee. I’m not even sure if my nephew is quite down with wearing scarves, but I don’t even mind because it was a pleasure to knit and what’s more, I used up yarn that has honestly been in my stash for at least the last 7 years…!
* I’m not even kidding, I actually worked it out…
I love this time of year. It’s dark by 4.30pm, the weather is obnoxious and my feet are perma-cold – and yet it’s still my favourite time of year. Not least because I get motivated to knit again!
My first big project of the winter was this *ahem* football-inspired scarf. Definitely not for me… But it was lovely to knit. It was so simple I even managed to do a fair amount of it in lectures 😀 It was knit in the round so it’s lovely and thick, and has a bit of an old-school feel to it. Most importantly, the recipient LOVES it 😀
Next was a Cerus Scarf-inspired scarf, using up lots of ends of yarn that’ve been lingering around all summer. Very satisfying, that. What is NOT satisfying, what I truly hate about knitting, however, is this –
The fact this only sat in this sorry state for a couple of days is something I am quite proud of – I could easily have left this languishing in a corner all winter, such is my hatred of sewing in ends. Alas, it is finished!
It’s not as thick and squishy as I had hoped (maybe I’ve been ruined by the glorious pillowyness of the football scarf…) even though I cast on more stitches and used bigger needles than suggested, but it’ll certainly keep me warm before I need to bring out the big (scarf) guns.
Currently on the needles are some chunky mittens, which are growing nice and quickly even though I’m making the pattern up as I go along (that always makes me very nervous…)
Last but not least, I’ve updated my Etsy shop, with more items to follow shortly!
I knew it. I knitted one hat and now I can’t stop.
Can you tell that I’ve had exams recently…? And that I’ve been avoiding having to read all this…?
All available on Etsy. Speaking of Etsy, my friend Paris has been crocheting Red Noses in support of Red Nose Day on 15th March. £2.50 from the sale of each Red Nose will go to Comic Relief – a fantastic cause!
This past month has been all about quick, practical knitting.
First was this ridiculously chunky scarf. I had about two days to do this before the “Snowpocalypse” arrived (about 4 inches of snow, but in Britain, it may as well have been 40) and ready I was. I’ve had some Mystery Yarn in my stash for years – I’m guessing aran/chunky acrylic, and a LOT of it. Anyway, I wanted the chunkiest yarn I had to knit up as quickly as possible, and this fit the bill. Job done.
Next was this Super Simple Beret knit in the same yarn. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t have the energy or mental acuity to do anything with any sort of pattern. I just needed something that didn’t keep falling off my head (the ribbing on my Star-Crossed Slouchy Beret had become very sorry-looking) and that I could make up as I went along. Again, fits the bill; job done.